At a recent conference in Geneva, representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) emphasized the importance of e-cargo solutions to improve supply chain efficiency.
According to an article in Air Cargo World, the IATA is responding to sluggish growth in annual freight tonnes carried. Since 2010, that amount has increased by only 1.4 million tonnes. In addition, the IATA predicts that in 2013 the industry will only see 1.5 percent cargo growth, while yields will fall by 2 percent.
The news source added that total cargo revenue would fall by $4 billion from 2010 to a total of $62 billion.
In order to adjust, IATA's global head of cargo, Des Vertannes, said that the industry would have to create "a fundamental change in the security, safety, efficiency and reliability of airfreight."
"This conference has undoubtedly put e-cargo at the forefront of industry thinking," he added. "Now we need to drive action through strong partnerships across issues such as e-customs, advanced electronic information, the digitization of transport documents, e-cargo security, and e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) implementation."
The IATA pushed its e-freight initiative, which improves shipping efficiency by reducing the need for paper documents. In fact, the news source reported that it will remove 7,800 tonnes of paper annually and reduce shipping times by up to 24 hours.
As they continue to roll out e-cargo solutions, carriers should consider proof of condition services like CargoSnapshot. This service allows users to take digital pictures of individual pieces of cargo, serving as evidence in the event of freight damage or theft. By holding shippers accountable and offering customers peace of mind, proof of condition services will boost air freight as a viable shipping option.